I’m especially happy this week, because my fav driver, Dale Jr, is back from his concussion, and cleared to race in this weeks race. I wanted something really great as a welcome back recipe! It’s getting close to the end of the Chase and soon a champion will be crowned.
We do have four weeks left, that means four more great tailgating/race party recipes!
These Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites really grabbed my attention. Not sure if I found them on Pinterest, or not, but this recipe from Macaroni and Cheesecake is really perfect to watch the next race or the next game. I made the ham and cheese ones, and also made some pepperoni and cheese ones.
I got some super thinly sliced hot ham from one of my favorite markets. It is super hot, so you really know you’re eating “hot” ham! I added a little cheddar cheese to the ham, and that’s it. For the pepperoni ones, I used sliced pepperoni that I chopped up a bit (to ease the rolling), and added some shredded Mozzarella and some grated Parmesan.
7th Race: Martinsville Speedway
- 1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, divided
- ¼ cup warm water (110-115˚F)
- 1 cup warm milk (110-115˚F)
- 2½ to 3 cups flour
- 8 slices or so, of very thinly sliced hot ham (although any kind of ham will do)
- ¼ c. sliced pepperoni, chopped into long strips
- ¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- ¼ c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
- sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 cups water
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1-2 Tablespoons coarse salt
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast, 1 tsp. brown sugar & warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together 2 tbsp. brown sugar and warm milk until brown sugar is dissolved. Once yeast is foamy, add 2½ cups flour & the milk mixture to the yeast. Stir with wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Add remaining flour if dough is too sticky. Turn the dough out to a floured surface and knead a few times, forming a smooth ball. Alternatively, you can knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook briefly until dough is smooth.
- Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil and place dough in bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm draft free area for 2 hours, until dough doubles in size and bubbles appear on the surface.
- Meanwhile, cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Once dough has risen, lightly flour a surface for rolling the dough. Turn the dough out and divide into four equal pieces. Roll one section of the dough into a 12×4 inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, press ¼ of the ham & cheese into the bottom third of the dough. Roll the dough up tightly as possibly, starting with the filling end. Cut the dough roll into 1 inch pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 3 sections of dough, using the pepperoni in place of the ham if you wish.
- Once all pieces are cut, let them rest uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.In a medium sized pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add in baking soda and reduce heat to a simmer. Add pretzels in batches and boil for 20 seconds each, turning once. Pretzels should be slightly puffed. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pretzels back to baking sheet.Once all pretzels are boiled, place baking sheet in oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Brush the warm pretzel bites with melted butter & sprinkle with salt.
- If preparing these ahead of time, you can place the pretzel bites in a 200 degree oven and warm them up for about 10-15 minutes prior to serving. You can keep them in the warm oven until your guests arrive. Serve with honey mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.